Friday, July 17, 2015

What is Sports Massage?

Sport Massage - Academy Massage Therapy - Massage Therapist Winnipeg
Sports massage is a specialized type of massage that has been proven effective in relieving aches, pains and other discomforts that occur in specific parts of the body, such as the neck, shoulders, arms and knees, areas prone to injury due to strain or overuse through physical activity. 

Sports massage involves a systematic manipulation of the soft tissues of the body that focuses on muscles relevant to a particular sport.

Sports massage was originally developed to assist athletes both as a preventive measure against injuries as well as relieving physical trauma caused by sporting mishaps. But while the treatment is geared toward athletes, everyone can benefit from sports massage therapy both for its physiological and psychological qualities. Sports massage can help maintain the body in better condition. It can also cure and restore mobility to injured or swollen muscle tissue, reduce fatigue, and overall improve physical performance whether on the playing field or in workplace labor or simply doing strenuous and/or repetitive yard or household chores.

Sports massage therapy has also been effective in helping to manage stress, which often can be a key concern prior to participating in an athletic competition, although, again, everyone can benefit from this therapy in simply dealing with the stresses that come from our fast-paced everyday lifestyle. Results are achieved by the massage releasing neurotransmitters called endorphins. Endorphins act as the body's natural pain reliever. When released through properly applied sports massage techniques these endorphins decrease anxiety, provide pain relief, improve mood and enhance a person's state of emotional well-being.

For the person engaged in athletic pursuits, sports massage provides superior benefits to enhance  physical ability, regardless of the activity or level of participation from amateur to professional, and can be applied pre- or post-game, during training or, if necessary, rehabilitation.

At Academy Massage our registered therapists offer sports massages that are both relaxing and performance enhancing. Some massages can be applied on the day of a specific event. We recommend that for anyone participating in sports or any strenuous physical activity to speak with one of our professional massage therapists to discuss a plan that works best for you.

With another summer now upon us, your friends at Academy Massage want to see you keep fit, stay limber and remain active to enjoy all that the season has to offer.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Sports Massage Techniques and Benefits

Sports Massage - Academy Massage Therapy - Massage Therapists Winnipeg
For an athlete to achieve and maintain optimum performance one of the key factors to consider is sports massage. This specific type of massage therapy is recommended not just for treating athletic injuries but as a pre-event preparation procedure and an effective preventive measure.

Sports massage is intended for everyone who partakes in athletic activities, from the career professional to the weekend golfer or casual jogger. The particulars of sports massage technique are determined by the athlete's preferred sport and focuses on those areas of the body that might be injured or suffer stress from repetitive and often aggressive or strenuous movements. During such physical activity muscle tension builds up in the body's soft tissues. Overuse, over-extension and injuries can occur in these tissues resulting in pain and compromising one's athletic performance.

Sports massage promotes blood and lymph flow throughout the body, alleviating pain and preventing muscle soreness and muscle fatigue that can affect flexibility, mobility, response time and overall athletic performance. It can also extend the life of your sporting career. The physical benefits of sports massage include:
  • Pumping
  • Stretching
  • Increased tissue permeability
  • Breaking down of scar tissue
  • Improves tissue elasticity
  • Opens micro-circulation
  • Pain Reduction
  • Relaxation
The psychological effects include:
  • Anxiety Reduction
  • Invigoration
Sports massage should be applied before and after athletic events, and should include regular "maintenance" sessions in-between.

One of the most common setbacks for athletes is DOMS, the acronym for delayed-onset muscle soreness. This is muscle pain that develops several hours following exercise, and is most common if the exercise is unfamiliar. Recent studies have shown that sports massage may help reduce and, if integrated into a weekly training regimen, even prevent the painful and often debilitating effects of DOMS in athletes.

There are different movements and techniques used in sports massage. These include Swedish style massage, stroking, kneading, compression, friction, rhythmic striking, vibration, gliding, stretching, percussion, and trigger points. Each of these movements and techniques aids in the physical conditioning of the athlete while decreasing the chance of injury or pain and assisting in a quicker recovery.
At Academy Massage our registered therapists are trained in sports massage and utilize the most proven and effective techniques in a three-way program. Our Sport Performance and Massage offers the deeper, more stimulating Swedish techniques for enhanced athletic performance. Maintenance Sports Massage is essential to an athlete's training and focuses on deep tissue work, intended to facilitate recovery and help maintain optimal range of motion. Post-Event Sports Massage focuses on recovery by flushing out muscles and restoring nervous system activity to normal pre-activity levels. This procedure should be performed one to three hours following an athletic activity as it aids healing time and decreases the risk of DOMS.

Sports massage therapy is gaining popularity as a valuable component in a balanced training regimen. Academy Massage recommends sports massage for anyone participating in regular physical activity to help keep you in the game.